During LGBTQIA+ Pride month, we commemorate the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement. As we honor and celebrate those trailblazing individuals – from Marsha P. Johnson to Dr. Rachel Levine – whose passion and persistence have drawn us closer to full equality, we are called upon to stand in solidarity for the systemic change required to prevent all discrimination and injustice. “The Fight Continues,” the official theme of NYC Pride, reflects the extraordinary contributions of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers and the support of allies to achieve remarkable results since Stonewall- passing of workplace protections and hate crime legislation, and guaranteeing the right to marry to same-sex couples. Yet, only 21 states and the District of Columbia, protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations and a record number of state legislatures proposed anti-LGBTQ laws – many with a specific focus on reducing the rights of transgender people. [According to the Human Rights Campaign, 28 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the United States so far this year, putting 2021 on pace to be one of the worst years on record for anti-trans violence. The victims were overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic trans women.]
As noted by our tremendous guest speaker at today’s Isaacs Center Pride event, David Rothenberg, the intersection of honesty and love makes it possible for each of us to be total human beings, and Pride month is a reminder of what is possible when each of us reaches this intersection and what we hold and what we share is embraced, protected, and celebrated.